WATCH - Leeds Rhinos 24 Hull FC 26: Marc Sneyd holds his nerve again to see Hull FC win at Headingley at last

IT HAS taken Hull 12 years to finally win again at Headingley, nothing like their wait for a maiden victory at Wembley but a painful one nonetheless.

Hull FC's Marc Sneyd against Leeds. (PIC: TONY JOHNSON)

With that in mind, it was never going to be easy breaking the sequence - a 14-game losing stretch - and they had to fight and dig as hard as ever here to finally do so.

However, as much as Marc Sneyd’s nerveless touchline conversion of Ratu Naulago’s 72nd minute try proved the difference, Hull saw this win gift-wrapped to them by a Leeds Rhinos side who remain firmly in a relegation dogfight.

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Richard Agar’s side had fought back from 20-6 down to lead 24-20 with just nine minutes remaining but, after Tom Briscoe’s second try, Nathaniel Peteru dropped the restart behind his own posts to hand the visitors an immediate chance.

Hull FC's Marc Sneyd against Leeds. (PIC: TONY JOHNSON)

They took it. Konrad Hurrell tried intercepting Jake Connor’s long pass but he only got a loose hand to it.

Naulago collected and did brilliantly to reach over one-handed in the corner, allowing Sneyd - in front of a baying South Stand - to do what he does best.

He had reached 1,500 points with the conversion before. The 1,502nd point was priceless.

It was a huge win for Lee Radford’s Hull as they head into Saturday’s Challenge Cup semi-final against Warrington Wolves but an awful defeat for Leeds who are now joint-bottom with Hull KR and London Broncos with just six fixtures remaining.

Hull FC's Jamie Shaul on the attack (PIC: Tony Johnson)

They threatened so much with that comeback scoring three tries in just 11 minutes.

England Knights full-back Jack Walker produced a quality pass to get Briscoe over for his first but the visitors looked certain to respond immediately as they created an overlap down the right.

Carlos Tuimavave’s final pass for the unmarked Naulago, though, was picked off by Ash Handley who raced 90m the other way to score.

Rhyse Martin, the recent signing from NRL, produced a storming break to create the position for Briscoe’s second, although two wonderful passes from Brad Dwyer and Harry Newman created the opening.

Leeds Rhinos' Trent Merrin is tackled by Hull's Gareth Ellis and Josh Bowden (PIC: TONY JOHNSON)

Martin landed the touchline conversion, his third of the afternoon, and all it needed was some composure. It wasn’t there.

Earlier, Leeds were 12-0 down by the 20th minute and it was no great surprise given they failed to complete three of their opening four sets - Ava Seumanufagi spilling getting to his feet, Konrad Hurrell in contact and Shaun Lunt as he tried picking up at dummy-half in prime attacking position.

There was a forward pass in amongst it all and with three of the mistakes occurring in their own half it only invited pressure from a Hull side that needed no encouragement.

Jake Connor slipped a short pass for Sika Manu to score the opening try, the Tonga second-row bursting through some feeble defence, and their second effort came courtesy of a stellar finish from Bureta Faraimo.

The USA winger rose brilliantly to claim Sneyd’s crossfield kick but his legs made contact with a Leeds defender in the process meaning he came down at a horrible angle, almost head first.

It did not deter him from making sure he got the ball down safely, though, and with Sneyd converting again, the visitors were good value for their lead.

They ran purposefully but moved the ball around, too, and consistently completed their sets, something which will have pleased Radford.

Naulago crossed as well but was denied a try due to a foot being in touch.

Mickey Paea got through a mountain of work and it was the prop who produced a crucial hit on Shaun Lunt, the Leeds hooker who subsequently lost the ball as he tried dummying over.

However, when Mark Minichiello spilled in the 26th minute - the first time they failed to complete a set - Rhinos finally found some edge.

Hurrell scored three minutes later as Cameron Smith made the pass that gave the Tonga centre just enough space to get over.

Rhyse Martin improved from wide out and Leeds should have scored again in the next set when Adam Cuthbertson’s late offload saw Lunt scurry away up the middle of the field.

Jack Walker spilled the final pass, though, and the chance disappeared.

Still, errors started creeping into Hull’s game and Shaul was needed to somehow stop Cuthbertson getting over.

Sneyd tried a drop-goal with the last play of the first half. It was a poor effort but it ricocheted back to him and he chipped over to nearly score a freak try.

They did get over early in the second period, Minichiello setting Josh Griffin free and Jamie Shaul motoring up.

Sneyd converted and added a 53rd minute penalty following a high tackle on Minichiello. He must have thought that would be enough but he had a much bigger pressure kick still to come.

Leeds Rhinos: Walker; Briscoe, Newman, Hurrell, Handley; Lui, Smith; Seumanufagai, Lunt, Singleton, Sutcliffe, Martin, Merrin. Substitutes: Ferres, Cuthbertson, Dwyer, Peteru.

Hull FC: Shaul; Naulago, Tuimavave, Griffin, Fariamo; Connor, Sneyd; Taylor, Houghton, Paea, Manu Minichiello, Westerman. Substitutes: Bowden, Fash, Lane, Ellis.

Referee: Marcus Griffiths (Leigh)